Silkies Not Liking Their Food

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by silkie1472, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 white silkie bantams, and they appear to be pretty healthy, but they do not like their food very much. I feed them Nutrena Laying Pellets and some Scratch Grains, and I even offer some oyster shells at times. They are extremely spoiled and would always eat their chick starter with no problem, but since I've changed them to the layer pellets, they have not eaten as much. They are a little over 40 weeks and would have the scratch grains over the layer pellets, but I do not understand this. When I take them and put them in the yard to stretch, they eat all the grass they can until their crops are packed, but they never do this with their actual food. I have never had this problem with my other chickens. When they are just fed the layer pellets and the scratch grains, their poop seems to turn very watery with green chunks that resemble the pellets. When they have access to grass, it slowly begins to look normal again.

    One a side note, one of the silkie hens seems to have thick mucous in her mouth at times and seems to be more affected with the chunky, watery poop. Her nostrils are clear and does not gasp for air at all. However, when she is picked up and struggles to get down, it seems that she has trouble breathing (she opens her mouth every couple seconds). When I put her down, she is fine, but she constantly acts like she is drinking, assuming that she is trying to swallow the mucous. She is still laying, but not as much as her sister. She drinks a lot of water, and acts just like any other chicken, so any help would be great on either or both of the different issues.
     
  2. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The mucous is clear and does not look that bad in her mouth, and her airways and eyes are clear. I have never seen this behavior.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would add a lot of water to your pellets to see if they will eat them. Only do that to a bowl every day, so it doesn't mold. Then when the pellets are gone, get layer crumbles or all flock raiser, and add a bowl of crushed oyster shell for free feeding.
    Your one with mucus could be suffering from a crop impaction or sour crop. Feel of her crop in early morning before she has eaten to make sure the crop is empty. Here is some reading to help determine that:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html
     
  4. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She does not have sour crop, she has had this problem for around 3-4 months. It does not affect her at all.
     
  5. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I put the silkies food in an actual bowl and they began eating it with no problem?
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, chickens will eat the same feed they turned their beaks up over when it's put into a new container. They think it's something new and better.

    However, be aware that layer feed does taste rather blah to hens as compared to higher protein feeds such as chick starter and all flock feed. Some layers eat it with no problem, but others go on a hunger strike because it's so boring tasting. This has been my own experience. Chickens have minimal taste buds but some are pretty fussy as to what they will allow to pass over them.

    Layer feed is not necessary for layers. They can be fed a higher protein all flock feed or even chick starter with no problem. Just offer oyster shell free choice in a container in a prominent spot in the run. I would bet your spoiled darlings will be eating regularly and even the one with mucous problems will improve.
     
  7. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your help. They will be moved outside into a larger run this spring, but it is raining A LOT right now and mud does not look too good on white silkies.
     

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